Advice to a friend travelling Europe with a baby

A text message I thought was worth sharing as a blog post:

First stop, I reckon you need to get into a camera. Look at a Fuji X100 or a Sony RX100 as a start.

Secondly, have you figured out your travel kit? For a trip like this, with a kid, I’d urge you to not take a laptop, maybe an iPad, and to work out a charging solution like an Anker multi-port USB/USB-C charger with an international plug on it.

Thirdly, have you chosen a travel cot and travel pram? The BabyZen YoYo travel pram is a cool glass of water in hell. You’ll give me a sainthood for making you buy one. Choosing a travel cot is tricky, we have the Phil & Ted’s which packs smaller, but the BabyBjorn and the new Bugaboo travel cots are still small but much quicker setup. Choose your poison.

Basically, there’ll be lots of dragging this stuff around, particularly in Venice where you have to carry everything, so take as little as possible.

Have you phoned Qantas to request a bassinet seat?

Here’s my city tips:

  • London: get into the palace and take out Prince Andrew.

  • Oxford: get an education.

  • Paris: have as many Nutella crepes as you can physically stomach and do the Big Red Bus tours, buy your wife nice things in the nice shops so that when you’re home and you have forty kids you can look at that nice sweater and remember that time you travelled the world.

  • Berlin: do a walking tour or two, the real Berlin is seen from street level, learn about the pedestrian crossing lights, look for bullet holes in the side of buildings, be surprised at the location where Hitler died, walk into every cool shop just because it’s cool, visit Computerspiele Museum - the computer game museum - it’s a lot of fun, stand in awe at the monuments, memorials, and existing parts of the wall. It’ll move you.

  • Unless of course you mean Bern in Switzerland in which case I have no idea. Same for Lauterbrunnen. I did not know these places existed until I googled them wondering if you didn’t mean Berlin.

  • Venice, I hear it’s lovely, but get up to Santa Monica while you’re there. Seriously though, I don’t know. Apparently you need to walk everywhere in the Italian version so pack light.

  • Florence: Get out into the regions, like San Gimignano, Siena, or Chianti or so many others, just get in a car and go. Italy’s regional areas are the opposite of Australia’s regional areas, which is to say, they’re really good. The main surprise is that they eat late and they don’t understand the concept of takeaway food, which is great if you’ve got a crying baby. That said, feel free to pass her off to a nonna for a hug, this also applies to bub.

  • Rome: There’s a small handful of landmarks you’ll probably recognise when you Google the town name, but my tip is to never eat in a palazzo. They’re full of tourists and bad food. There’s so many great restaurants there, but you have go to Trattoria Der Pallaro purely for the experience. Visit the Via del Corso Apple Store because its beautiful.